Manchester City host Fulham in the gameweek 11 of the Premier League on Saturday afternoon at Etihad Stadium. This will mark Pep Guardiola’s 700th game as a manager. City are at 11th in the league table and Fulham are languishing at 17th place.
Guardiola’s side won 5-0 emphatically against Burnley in their last league game. But, they drew 0-0 with Porto in a Champions League fixture on Wednesday although Guardiola fielded a strong 11.
Fulham, under Scott Parker, are struggling to create chances upfront in the Premier League. They scored only 7 goals in 10 games this season with 4 goals coming in the last two games. However, they put up a fine display against an in-form Leicester City to win 2-1 away at the King Power Stadium.
Manchester City vs Fulham Preview:
Manchester City have won only 4 games after 9 matches dropping 12 points already. They dropped only 14 points in the whole 2017-18 season. They scored 15 goals, which is the tenth best in the league.
This dismal string of performances is his responsibility, said Pep Guardiola. He is also really unhappy with the closely packed fixtures of the league. English FA and TV broadcasters faced heavy criticism for making the fixtures really difficult to cope with for the better clubs who are in European competitions.
City and Fulham’s last meeting was a 4-0 win for the Citizens back in January.
On the other hand, Fulham identified their problem which was scoring goals quite early. Their manager Scott Parker addressed it and assured that the team will do better. He stated he has belief in his team but also their task of staying in the Premier League is still tough.
Parker also knows how difficult it will be against the Citizens. But he is hopeful and confident after their victory at Leicester.
“Monday’s done a lot for morale, I harp on about keeping spirits high, we haven’t won many games but when you get such positive results against a tough team it helps.
That brings extra confidence and belief, it’s something to build on — not just for Saturday but the remainder of the season.”– Scott Parker
Guardiola has no major injury problems ahead of the game except Sergio Aguero. The Argentine may not feature against Fulham as he is not 100% fit yet. Kevin de Bruyne, Riyad Mahrez, Aymeric Laporte all were rested in Portugal but are set to return.
Mahrez scored a hat-trick in Manchester City win against Burnley. Also, Pep may start Nathan Ake on Saturday.
Scott Parker has his full squad to choose players from. He may field his same 5-4-1 formation as he picked against Leicester on Saturday. Ivan Cavaleiro, who was the eventual match-winner against the foxes, will lead the line.
Alphonso Areola has been a great loan-signing for the London-based club. He has been putting in impressive performances throughout the campaign. Another loan-signing, Joachim Andersen, who captained the side last time, has also been very impressive for the Europa League 2009-10 runners-up.
Manchester City: Ederson; Walker, Laporte, Ake, Mendy, Gundogan, Rodri, De Bruyne; Mahrez, Jesus, Torres.
Fulham: Areola; Reid, Aina, Andersen, Adarabioyo, Robinson; Loftus-Cheek, Reed, Anguissa, Lookman; Cavaleiro.
Manchester City should win the game comfortably at home, given the quality of both sides. But Scott Parker’s team is rejuvenated after their win at the King Power.
Fulham will put up a strong fight nonetheless against a strong City-side. Also, the City’s dip of form and inconsistency may hurt themselves. So we can expect a tough battle between attack and defence at the Etihad.
Score Prediction: Manchester City 3-1 Fulham.
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